10 frugal parenting tips from around the globe

American-style consumerism is an expensive way to raise offspring. You can save money and focus on what's truly important by following the guide of other cultures.

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83Comments
Oct 2, 2013 10:47PM
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We have got to get back to a simpler way of life.
Oct 6, 2013 4:19AM
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 Parent also have to teach their kids that they aren't entitled to everything they see in the store and on TV.
Oct 6, 2013 5:48AM
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Common sense is the no cost alternative. Parents inability to say 'NO' is way more expensive in the long run, and causes nothing but bad habits and spoiled kids.
Oct 3, 2013 3:57PM
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I was lucky enough to marry an excellent gardener who's serious about growing our food. Grocery bills for our family of four generally run $50-75 a week, and we have enough to share.

Oct 6, 2013 9:57AM
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Hmmm, I was born in the late '50's in America to a poor family. Most of the stuff in here is how we grew up.  Being the youngest, I had hand me down clothes, didn't get a lot of presents, birthdays were a dinner with a homemade cake and a few presents, "crafts" were made with whatever was made around the house, and we were only allowed to watch cartoons on Saturday morning and one or two shows AFTER dinner and homework were done during the week.  The lifestyle itself was not bad.  

I mentor a young girl who is very poor.  Because everyone feels sorry for the family, they give them all kinds of stuff.  What I find is, because she is not WORKING for stuff like I did (I had to pay 1/2 for my second bike--the first one was a hand me down), she doesn't value things.  She breaks them, tosses stuff on the floor, walks on it, etc.  I used to get her a lot of stuff, but won't buy her anything anymore because she doesn't value it.  I work VERY HARD for my money and I will not have my work disrespected by someone who takes what that work gives her and just trashes it.  She and her brother will be in for a rude awakening come this Christmas....
Oct 6, 2013 6:52AM
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 I agree with most of the ideas.  I grew up making my toys, sharing and playing outside but now, if kids have to play outside on their own, someone must be on guard and watch them. The world has changed. 
Too many crazies out there...
Oct 6, 2013 7:03AM
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My children as well as myself when I was younger, used the same backpack year after year until the backpack worn completely out.  In fact, I used mine straight through high school.  Parents could save a lot if they just buy the essential, books, pencils, glue, tape, folders, pens if required, and paper.  Things like last year pencil case and book bag, and lunch bags can be used year after year.  this teaches children the value of things and how to save and take care of their things for long use-responsible people!!
Oct 6, 2013 8:45AM
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Hankies are gross, and as a parent of 3 I don't think the tissue/napkin expense is breaking the bank.
Oct 6, 2013 6:55AM
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The other question crossing my mind is how many parents ever take time to teach their kids anything????  Most are too busy trying to make money and they will buy stuff for their kids, just to get them of their backs. Sad.
Oct 6, 2013 6:53AM
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These were old school standards now kids are spoiled,have too much and don't value a thing.Less is more.
Oct 6, 2013 9:31AM
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Good advice.  Kids really do want to be creative and physically do something to have fun.  Making them do it themselves is a reward and they love it.  Myself and my adult kids had more fun with the pillow forts and blankets over the dining room table than we ever had with purchased toys.  The epic raids and battles we had in our heads was so much better than anything plastic could have provided.
Oct 6, 2013 8:35AM
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But if everyone makes these choices the plutocrats who are cashing in on Americans' constant drive to "keep up with the Joneses" won't be able to rake in the cash anymore!  
What will happen? 
People might stop watching (and believing) commercials on TV!  Think of what it could do to the advertising industry!  Bedroom communities surrounding New York City could default and go bankrupt just like those hick towns in California!
The American economy might collapse!  

Oh...  right...  that might be a good thing.  
We could save the planet and disinherit the plutocrats in one easy step!
Oct 6, 2013 6:14AM
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The most important thing about growing kids up is teaching them how to enjoy their lives. As a child, everyone has to go through two critical periods. How to properly stimulate the young brains (aka good upbringing), will affect a kid the whole life. It is what makes up the personality types, the way they understand the world and interact with their peers.
Oct 6, 2013 10:36AM
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REUSED handkerchiefs are gross & spread germs, IMHO.  :-p
Oct 6, 2013 8:15AM
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Just one thing I had a problem with was the birthday/Christmas issue.  While we ourselves don't throw a big bash for each of our children, we do buy them more than one present for both birthday and Christmas.  However, the difference is that we don't buy them things throughout the year.  If they get anything new at all that is nonessential, it will be for their birthday or for Christmas.

 

Other than that, everything was pretty much common sense.

Oct 6, 2013 9:12AM
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The 1st grade school supply list you mentioned that is popular in Japan is also used here in Queens, NY.  All sounds great and we raise our 4 boys to be content with less, but the hankie idea is gross and we do have a problem with letting the kids out without adult supervision, so outdoor time is limited.
Oct 6, 2013 9:29AM
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Keeping it simple yet effective......this piece is GREAT!

Oct 6, 2013 11:13AM
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I love the toy library idea!!!! :D
Oct 6, 2013 11:45AM
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just go outside and play? you mean they might have to use their imaginations? what next? having to learn that value of actually working for the things you want? That would end the entitlement mentality that many people grow up with. What a tragedy THAT would be.

Oct 6, 2013 1:10PM
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What would happen if we all went back to... Proms in the school gym would save thousands!  Single school pictures instead of forking out hundreds for "senior pictures?  Put Drivers Training classes back into the high school curriculum?  I could think of hundreds of ways. How about you?

 

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